PMO project’s estimated cost goes up, scope of work enhanced

Work in progress on the Central Vista Redevelopment Project in New Delhi.

Work in progress on the Central Vista Redevelopment Project in New Delhi. | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Increased scope of work, including additional information and communication technologies (ICT) components, led to the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) cancelling its earlier tender for the construction of an Executive Enclave and re-tendering it this week, officials aware of the development said.

The CPWD had called for bids for the project, which comprises the new Prime Minister’s Office, a conference facility called India House and offices of the Cabinet Secretariat and the National Security Council Secretariat, in November 2021. After narrowing down potential bidders through pre-qualification, the CPWD got the lowest bid of ₹1,119.56 crore from Ahluwalia Contracts India Ltd. in March, lower than its estimated cost of ₹1,160.17 crore.

However, instead of awarding the contract, the construction agency on Tuesday began the process of re-tendering by calling for pre-qualification bids again. The project’s estimated cost for construction and five-year maintenance contract went up to ₹1,316 crore and potential bidders had till June 8 to apply, according to the bid document.

While the total plinth area of the project was reduced from 87,915 square metres to 85,282 square metres, according to the 2021 and May 24 bid documents respectively, three elements were added to the list of works — 38 watch-towers, “active component of ICT” and about seven entry and exit gates “along with complete security systems”. An official said a “make in India” requirement was included in order to encourage the use of domestic products.

The CPWD also tweaked the eligibility criteria for potential bidders, increasing the average gross annual financial turnover from ₹586 crore to ₹658 crore and the minimum net worth of the company from ₹117 crore to ₹131.60 crore.

No comment: CPWD spokesperson

A CPWD spokesperson declined to comment on the changes in the scope of the project. The Centre’s consultant for the Central Vista project, HCP Design, Planning and Management, declined to comment as well and said in an email, “the CPWD is best positioned to answer” the queries.

While considering the application for environment clearance of the project, the Delhi State-level Expert Appraisal Committee had on January 31 raised concerns about the safety of women on the footpaths around the site due to the high boundary walls. According to a source, the CPWD had informed the panel that it would set up guard-towers along the boundary.

The project would take 24 months to complete and construct after demolishing the existing structures on two plots near the South Block. As a part of the Central Vista revamp, the Centre has also proposed constructing a new Prime Minister’s Residence. In a step towards that, the CPWD called for bids for constructing the boundary wall for the PM Residence project on Dara Shikoh Road.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2022 7:24:53 am |